Most of us were born with a natural storytelling ability. We may not have grown up with microphones in our hands or in front of a webcam, but we have all surely heard a story or two that made us laugh or cry, stirred our imagination, or simply resonated with us.
Unfortunately, as we grow up and become more jaded by the day, we often lose touch with our creative side. We settle for safe, straightforward writing that suits the corporate world. We stop trying to entertain our readers and listeners. We stop challenging ourselves and our readers/listeners by pushing the envelope, by trying something new and creative. We forget that everything we write, however, has an audience—even when we write for ourselves. For those of us who have forgotten how to creative writing and have wondered “[wonderlust]: How do I rekindle my inner child and develop my creative writing skills?”
The answer, my friend, is not as complicated as you may think. It’s simply about following some tried and tested methods for inspiring and nurturing your creative writing talent.
Find Your Story
One of the first things you need to do to get back on track is to find your story. What is your story? What is the premise behind your blog, book, or manuscript?
You may not know what your story is yet, but you will soon find out. Before you start writing, take some time to think about your story and the premise behind it. What led you to write this particular story? What is your thesis statement?
You can also take this opportunity to flesh out your characters. What are their goals? What do they want? Why do they want it?
Answering these questions will help you develop the proper “tone” for your story. You can also use this time to find the style that works best for you. Do you want to write in a realist fashion or a more creative fashion?
Whether you need help finding your story or not, you should take the time to think about what drives you, informs you, and motivates you. This will help you find the content that works best for you. You can either write your story in the first person or use a third person limited point of view. Which one you use depends on your chosen genre. For example, a science fiction story likely would feature mostly third person point of view, whereas a realistic story would likely be told from the first person point of view.
Develop Your Characters
Once you have your story, you can start to develop your characters. This is where your creative writing talents will really start to shine. Instead of using stereotypes, at least give your characters some depth. Give them goals, dreams, and the like. Make them sympathetic and easy to understand. Most importantly, make them interesting.
If you are creating an original character, you will need to look into their background. Where did they come from? What are their goals? Why do they want what they want?
These are all important questions. Not only will they help you create a more realistic and interesting character, but their answers may also help you develop more effective plot twists and turns.
Make It Visual
Once you have your characters, you can start to develop your story. While you write, make it a point to visualize what you are writing about. If you are creating a new world, make sure that it is a world that is believable. Look into every aspect of it. From the technology to the animals, the setting should feel realistic and consistent with your story.
Again, as you work on making your story realistic, make sure to consider everything. Is it logical that these characters would say these things? Is there a historical precedence for this type of setting or scenario?
Make sure to work with a copywriter to make your business or brand voice easy to understand and consistent across all written and visual content. Take your time, do your research, and make sure that everything feels in keeping with your story and characters. You can also ask others to review your work to ensure that everything feels authentic.
Use A Process
As you work on your story, you will most likely find that you have numerous ideas, some of which are better than others. Don’t worry, this is totally normal, especially if you are a creative person. You should not feel bad about this; rather, you should feel great about it. This is your material! With so much material to work with, you can either continue to add to your list or you can start to whittle it down. You can use a number of different strategies to do this, but there is one process that you should follow.
At some point in your writing, you will realize that some of your ideas are better than others. Some are richer, more developed, and easier to pull off than others. You will need to choose which ones to work on and which ones to ditch. One of the best suggestions I can make is to use a process. Every story, no matter the genre, follows a similar pattern. If you want to write a business book, you will begin by defining your target audience and then you can choose which aspects of business management to include in your work.
Choosing the right process to follow is essential if you want to create a consistent and strong story with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning of your story should set the stage, establish the problems you are trying to solve, and introduce your main characters. The end of your story should tie everything together and leave your readers satisfied.
Choose The Right Genre
As we mentioned above, you will need to find your story before you can start writing. Once you have your story, you can begin to develop your characters, setting, and plot. When it comes to choosing the right genre for your story, you should use your plot to guide you. What is the inciting incident? What are the major conflicts? From there, you can determine what type of story you are going to write.
You should aim to write about things you are passionate about. Even if your story is a love story, you should still write about issues you are familiar with. If you want to delve into the issue of abusive relationships, then you should write a crime drama. If you want to discuss racism in America, then you should write a historical novel set in the American Wild West.
In addition to choosing the right genre, you should also consider the strength of your protagonists and the antagonist. Do you have an experienced protagonist who can bring authenticity to the role? Who is your typical reader? What is their background?
Each of these questions will help you decide on the right genre for your story. It may be a good idea to read some bestselling books from your chosen genre to see how others tackle similar problems.
Choose A Winning Title
If you are looking for an easy way to drum up interest in your story, you can always go the self-help route and give it a trendy and memorable title. If you are writing a business book, you can use the title “[your book]’s definitive guide to [insert topic here]” or, if you are writing a love story, you can use the timeless classic “[your book] proposes a brand-new way of looking at [insert classic here]”.
This is another easy way to generate interest in your work. If your chosen genre is currently a popular one, then you can rest assured that many others will join the fray once they discover your work. If your chosen genre is not as popular as you would like it to be, then consider whether or not you should write at all about this particular topic. In either case, be sure to follow the above guidelines for developing your creative writing.